Formed in 2009, Applied Mechanics produces shows that are collaborative in their making, and innovative in presentation. With the fourth wall completely broken, audiences are invited to interact with the performers, mill about the set, and select the stories they desire to follow. These characteristics were present in previous works by Applied Mechanics, yet FEED furthers their impact with the central role of food; the sensorial experience of a crisp wafer, or the cool tartness of a pickled radish weaves the audience member into the very fabric of the performance. Here, narrative, fiction, performance, and reality collide through the breaking of bread.
FEED, directed by Rebecca Wright, follows the stories of three characters defined by their relationships to food. Leif (Thomas Choinacky) hails from approximately 1400-1700 CE—he is perhaps a spice trader, and is wonderfully humorous and earnest in his pursuit of delicious tastes and smells, punctuated by constant gestures and onomatopoeia. The brilliant, but neurotic Krs (Mary Tuomanen)—circa 2010-2020 CE—is consumed by her research to produce an infinitely sustainable food source. Bestby (Brett Ashley Robinson) presents us with a vision of the future in a thousand years or two—she is to be exiled from her community for refusing to adapt to the resurgence of farming and fresh foods due to her belief that the earth is poisoned. Her plot is bleak, yet indicates a brighter future for all mankind.
[Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St.] September 7-19, 2016; fringearts.com/feed.